Friday, June 24, 2022

Charity TikTok Videos Put an Uncomfortable Spin on Morality

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“I think these videos can create narratives about how we should help the deserving poor,” says Yale professor Michael Kraus, a social psychologist who specializes in the study of inequality. “But actually all are deserving, and individual acts of charity are not a solution for poverty.” The “deserving poor” is an archaic concept, codified in England’s Elizabethan poor laws, that was designed to distinguish between people in poverty who were to “blame” for their situation, and those who weren’t, and therefore were entitled to help. TikTokkers that reward helpful homeless people arguably entrench the idea that certain people are more worthy of welfare than others.

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